August 13, 2022, 2:30 pm
Poverty Bay RFU
22 - 17
Hawkes Bay Saracens
GBHS Rectory
Poverty Bay RFU
Referee: Damien Macpherson

Match Report

Poverty Bay Wekas take control of the breakdown and scrums.

GAMECHANGER: Poverty Bay second-five Mitchell Purvis saves the day by scoring two tries late into the second half securing the win.
The Wekas beat the Hawke’s Bay Saracens on Saturday 22-17 at the Rectory. Pictures by Paul Rickard

Poverty Bay Wekas beat the Hawke’s Bay Saracens 22-17 at the Rectory on Saturday in their pre-season clash before Round 1 of the Heartland Championship.

It did come at a price. Wekas captain Tamanui Hill took a hard knock to the head early in the first half and was replaced by George Whakatope in the No.8 spot.

The path to victory was found by Wekas second-five Mitch Purvis who snapped up a double, both in the second half.

Groundwork for the win came as the Wekas forwards took demanding control over both scrums and the breakdown. Openside flanker Niko Lauti got four turnovers in the first half alone.

Poverty Bay head coach Miah Nikora thought it was hard to look past Lauti in choosing Player of the Match.

“There were a few who put their hand up but I thought that Niko Lauti who was playing seven for us today was pretty outstanding,” Nikora said.

“A massive work rate in defence and in attack as well, so that was good to see.

“We had a focus on our forwards really getting stuck in and getting around the corner in phase plays and trying to be quite physical. So it was really pleasing, especially towards the end of the first half when we started maintaining the ball a bit better and then that flowed into the second half. Really pleased.”

The Wekas defeat at the hands of the Hawke’s Bay “Magpies” representative side last week had resonated with the team as they put into place a game plan to maintain control of the ball.

Captain and hooker Rikki Terekia said that they were still learning from that experience, a 95-22 loss.

“When we played Hawke’s Bay, they really did a number on us at the ruck so we put a big emphasis on not only looking after and securing our ruck, but making sure that when we are on defence, we are putting pressure on their ruck as well so they’re not getting easy ball,” Terekia said.

“The boys did really well today. We have a lot of weapons in our back line and giving them the opportunity to let rip . . . when they finally got those opportunities, it reflected on the scoreboard. They are the ones who scored all our tries and they did all the really good build-up so I think they did a really good job.”

UNTOUCHED: Poverty Bay winger Moses Christie runs in a try after finding space down the sideline after a lineout in their 22-17 win against the Hawke’s Bay Saracens on Saturday. The Wekas begin their Heartland Championship this weekend away against King Country in Round 1.

The driving force for the Wekas was their forwards, who showed their intent at set pieces and moved as a unit.

The Saracens opened up the try scoring with a big upfront play, placing pressure on the Wekas defence. Pick-and-go was the call and the Saracens forwards moved towards the try line, phase after phase until finally halfback Issac Bracewell busted over for a try next to the posts.

First-five Jonty Stewart picked up the extra two for a good early lead to the Saracens.

The Wekas replied quickly when a bad ball from a lineout was picked up by winger Moses Christie who found a pocket up the sideline, running in a 40m try.

The sides shared territory evenly for much of the first half and it was the Saracens who made the only other score just before half time.

From a ruck on the 10m line in the Saracens half, some quick thinking and brilliance by Saracens winger Hemaua Samasoni saw him charge upfield then chip over the Weka defence. The ball was scooped up by Stewart who dived over the line for a try, ending the half at 12-5 in the Saracens favour.

The second half saw a change in the Wekas as their backs gained in confidence and began to move the ball through the line more freely.

Their skills were on show as they ran in three more tries from centre Teddy Walters and Purvis claiming his double. Christie slotted one conversion from those tries.

This Saturday the Wekas take on King Country away to begin their championship season.

WEKAS: 22 Mitch Purvis (2), Moses Christie (con 1), Ted Walters tries.

SARACENS: 17 Jonty Stewart (2, con 1), Issac Bracewell.


Name TR CON PEN DG Cards
1541 Tulsa Kaui
1448 Tamanui Hill (c)
12 1
13 1
14 1 1


Name TR CON PEN DG Cards
1441 Shayde Skudder Rikki Terekia
1481 Toru Noanoa Tulsa Kaui
1537 James Higgins Lance Dickson
1540 George Whakatope Tamanui Hill
1553 Kupu Lloyd Adriaan Brits
1512 Jacob Leaf Ricardo Patricio
1551 Matt Te Rangi Rutene Braedyn Grant